Wondering if it would be beneficial to have your child play a sport, even if they have no intention of trying to play in college? Even if your child just wants to play for fun, participating in youth sports offers a ton of benefits for both their physical and mental health.
Here are 11 reasons for them to put in a custom mouthguard and start playing sports:
It helps them stay active and healthy.
The first reason is the most obvious one: Playing sports keeps your kid physically active and provides a lot of health benefits. Playing sports helps kids grow strong muscles and bones, and it also helps keep their weight down. Being physically active will also improve their cardiovascular health by strengthening their hearts and lungs. Playing sports is a great way to encourage kids to be active if they don’t like to work out without an objective in mind.
It supports their mental health.
Physical activity also has mental health benefits no matter how old or young you are. Moving around causes your body to release feel-good hormones such as dopamine and serotonin, which will boost your child’s mood and support their overall mental health. Improving the many other skills listed here, including communication and teamwork, will further help increase their self-esteem and mental health.
It teaches them teamwork.
Team sports are a fantastic way to teach your child teamwork in real-time. Even before they’re old enough to do a group project at school, they can put on a uniform, pop in a pro mouthguard, and learn how to work together with others for a common goal. Even solo sports may still include an element of teamwork since a lot of them involve practicing alongside others even if you don’t compete with them during games.
It’s a great socialization opportunity.
Speaking of teamwork, playing a sport is a great way to make friends. Not only do teammates spend time together multiple days a week, but they also have at least one common interest that they can bond over. If your child hasn’t been socializing a lot lately, then getting them into a team for beginners might help them make friends more easily.
It helps them practice persistence.
When you play sports, you can’t just stop whenever you feel like it: You have to see things through to the end of the practice, the game, and even the season (barring some kind of injury, of course). Playing a sport teaches children perseverance, which is an excellent skill to have even if they don’t keep playing sports later in life. Being persistent will serve them well in college, at a job, and in many other real-life scenarios.
It sharpens their communication skills.
Playing a sport requires constant communication of all kinds. Kids have to talk with their parents about transportation to games, their coaches about how they can improve, and their teammates about how to run a play. Just like with persistence, these are all real-life skills that will transition to many scenarios, including at school with their classmates and teachers. Even though most people don’t think of sports as a way to build these soft skills, it’s a definite benefit that you will see.
It makes them responsible and disciplined.
Playing a sport is a lot of responsibility since teammates and coaches are depending on each player. They are also in charge of taking care of their own gear, such as keeping track of their shoes, helmets, and thin mouthguards. They also have to be disciplined, showing up to practices and games on time and following through on any at-home drills they are given. Signing your child up for a sport will help them to become more responsible and disciplined in all areas of their life.
It gives them confidence.
Depending on the coach, playing a sport can help build a child’s confidence and help them feel more sure of themselves. Look for a coach who prefers to give constructive feedback and doles out a healthy amount of praise alongside advice for improvement. Coaches who only focus on the negatives and have a really harsh coaching style will make your child feel timid instead of building their confidence.
It helps them become more resilient.
In sports as in life, kids can’t win every single game they play. Sometimes, they are going to lose the game, have a bad practice, or have to sit out due to an injury. These sorts of situations are disappointing but also inevitable, and playing sports teaches your child to cope with them and bounce back quickly. This helps to build their resiliency and make them better able to withstand setbacks later in life, even if they decide not to keep playing sports.
It teaches them to set goals and work to achieve them.
Setting a goal and working to reach that goal is a skill that kids need to be taught, and playing a sport is a great way to teach them that. Kids must set a goal (for instance, improving their passing rate) and then figure out a way to reach that (doing drills three times a week on top of practice). This skill will serve them well in sports, in school, and in the future when they become an adult.
It encourages them to study.
Most high school sports teams have a certain GPA cut-off in order to keep playing. If students fall below that, they will be suspended or even kicked off the team permanently. This encourages them to keep studying and find a balance between school and sports instead of throwing themselves into sports one hundred percent. It also gives you the perfect opportunity to talk about the importance of learning with your child and to have a realistic discussion about the probabilities of playing college sports.
Signing your child up for a sport can greatly benefit them both now and in the future. Keep these benefits in mind as you try to decide which sport to sign your child up for this year.